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Mind reading colleagues

August 24, 2009

This was the 2nd most common complaint I got when I was in talent management, the first being misgivings about the all-powerful and evil secretary to the boss which I’ll reserve for another day.

So I’m told that some bosses expect their employees to read minds. These managers don’t tell you what they want. Rather, they expect you to read between the fine lines and if you don’t deliver what they expect, you get your butts kicked.

Some of them believe you are adults and “should know” what to do without being told. Some expect you to come and ask. Some expect you to, well, read their minds.

I tell ya, if I had mind reading subordinates I would be the first to hightail out of that company. What would I do with all the company secrets leaking out left and right and everyone knowing what I did last Saturday? πŸ˜€

Okay, yes there is a common sensical line to be drawn between being told of an objective and go do it and being asked to infer what to do from some obscure thing that happened. But you know what? When I listen to these grouses, I feel like I am counseling two lovers in a tiff. The girl is all upset because her bf forgot to do something, didn’t ask her the questions she thought he’d ask, or just didn’t think something was important enough to bother with. And the girl, thinking the guy “should know” better, gets reduced to tears.

And that’s when I roll my eyes and go oh brother.

I’ll side with the employees on this one. If you have subordinates, please, please don’t be a pussy. Tell your minions what you want. Be specific about your goals. Let them figure out how. Don’t assume they can read between the lines. Otherwise it is you who will be reduced to tears.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 10:17 am

    aaaaaaah…… Thank God, I’m free of that. And reading the mind of the one at home’s no sweat off my brow. πŸ™‚

    You sure you don’t miss that life that you left? Hehe…

  2. August 24, 2009 1:22 pm

    hahaha, couple arguing eh? u got that right πŸ˜€ seen it b4. finger pointing here n there…then all the hatreds pile up n explode. πŸ˜€

    result? 1 of them will be removed (resign or reallocation)

    Yup. And being the clueless guy that he is, I bet the boss didn’t even realize he was supposed to do something.

  3. August 25, 2009 2:42 am

    Use msn or emails .

    It is easier to be direct , and go into details without a face . Then just call him up and say “You got mail ”

    And start a flame war? Ooo… can be a tough one. Might work on an open-minded boss though.

  4. August 25, 2009 12:45 pm

    …”sure you don’t miss that life that you left?”
    I do sometimes… but I just think of that crazy cubicle, a ‘she-bear’ and a smoke and fire-breathing boss. Those are enough to cheer me up and continue working with my brushes… (oh.. btw, the guitar must be sulking by now) πŸ˜€

    Just imagine, if only you were the one breathing smoke and fire, you would’ve been the one cracking the whip. Guitars… don’t worry about them. They’re hard on the outside, always sweet sounding on the inside. πŸ˜€

  5. August 27, 2009 8:37 am

    the boss will jz hire another fella. it’s all numbers anyway πŸ™‚

    Yea, good help is hard to find these days. πŸ˜€

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